Lollihop Giveaway!

Hello Thursday, how quickly you are upon us! I am really excited today because I get to give away one of my newest indulgences: a Lollihop box!

Lollihop boxes are similar to the Foodzie.com Tasting Boxes I always rave about. They each cost around $20 per month including shipping, but where Foodzie provides samples of interesting products (healthy or not), Lollihop creates boxes geared towards healthy living. Their boxes are filled with tons of healthy, organic, and nutritious snacks.

When I first read about Lollihop, I was hesitant to sign up since I was already signed up for a monthly “treat” box from Foodzie, but I was also intrigued since the focus on this box was geared more towards health, which is always a good thing.

When my first box was delivered, I was blown away. There are 3 times as many snacks in this box than I have ever received in my Foodzie one. My box came with a huge variety in goodies (dried fruit, chips, bars, teas, even hand sanitizer) that all went along with the monthly theme (November’s was “Immunity”). I am beyond impressed with their product!

And now, the best part… I am giving away a one month membership to Lollihop to one lucky winner! What do you have to do to enter?

Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite snack is by Sunday, November 6th at 9:00PM PST when I will pick a random winner! It is as easy as that. Good luck!

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Filed under Giveaway, Review

What I Ate Wednesday 19

Well guys, another Wednesday is upon us. This past week brought a lot of fun (birthday dinners, parties, costumes, candy, and cupcakes). And Q and I are now less than 4 weeks away from seeing each other. Knowing that we are actually going to see each other in the month of November is crazy and seriously hard to believe! I have so much excitement and some nerves (something about not seeing someone for 6 months makes me a little anxious in a good way). The official countdown has begun!

And now on to the days food:

Breakfast – 8:30AM

I love that I whip out my pumpkin two days AFTER Halloween, but with the chilly weather this morning I thought I would try some pumpkin oats. In the mix: coach’s oats, water, almond milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, almond butter, a pinch of salt and some raisins.

Lunch – 2:30PM

I waited waaay too long until lunch and was starving by the time we ordered food in our meeting. I had a slice of vegetable pizza and an Italian salad from BJ’s. Both were good and I was full for a long time since I overstuffed (eating while starving = eating too much).

Dinner – 7:00PM

Din Din

Me = super excited to see some old friends

For dinner, I met a few girlfriends at Terroni, an Italian restaurant on Beverly Blvd. across from The Grove. I got an arugula salad with mushrooms and cheese to start and also had a piece of Margherita pizza. The menu was mainly pizza and pasta and I wasn’t hungry enough to enjoy some pasta, so a simple pizza was a good choice. For dessert, we split the nutella fritters which weren’t as great as I had hoped, but still a treat.

Hope everyone is having a great week, tomorrow I am back with a giveaway! See you then!

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Filed under Restaurants, Review, What I Ate Wednesday

Deconstructed Spicy Tuna Roll

I feel like lunch is a pretty boring meal…kind of a midday, on-the-run, place holder between breakfast and dinner. This may also be because of my love of breakfast (I could eat it for every meal if I had the chance) and the sociability of dinner (some good food, good wine and friends). But lunch? Just an inbetweener.

My mom and I made this deconstructed spicy tuna roll over the weekend for lunch and it was the best meal I had all day (and pretty much all week). It really put my “lunch as a place holder” theory to the test, since I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The bowl is a combination of all things spicy tuna (rice, tuna, avocado, spicy mayo, seaweed with the addition of some tomatoes). I love how this bowl turned out in texture and flavor and would make this again and again to “spice up lunch” (I couldn’t help it with the pun there).

Deconstructed Spicy Tuna Roll

Serves 2

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • 2 Japanese cucumbers (or 1/2 an English cucumber deseeded), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound sushi grade tuna, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Spicy Mayonnaise (recipe below)
  • Roasted Seaweed Pieces, shredded
  • Soy Sauce (for drizzling)
  • Wasabi, to taste

Directions:

  1. Divide the rice between two bowls.
  2. Make a bed of cucumbers and tomatoes in a flat circle on the rice. Set the tuna cubes on the cucumbers and tomatoes.
  3. Combine the avocado, lemon juice and salt in a bowl and mix gently. Arrange the avocado on top of the tuna.
  4. Place a dollop of the Spicy Mayonnaise dressing in the center of the tuna with a dab of wasabi.
  5. Sprinkle on roasted seaweed shreds and add. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

Spicy Mayonnaise

Makes 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 teaspoons Sriracha (or spicy chili oil)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, preferably low sodium

Directions:

  1. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Adapted from My Japanese Table

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Filed under Cooking, Fish, Grains, Recipe, Sauces/Dips

A Perfect Day

For my birthday this year I just wanted to have a “me” day. Isn’t it funny that as we grow older we want to do less and less to celebrate? I had a small birthday dinner with friends on Saturday and then last night went to dinner with my family at Osteria Mozza (review to come). And today was just my day.

My Halloween costume = a cat

The day started with a bowl of my favorite oatmeal eaten in bed. Q told me it is tradition to eat breakfast in bed on his birthday, so I tried it (and I liked it).

It was followed by some cuddling and TV watching in bed with the pups.

And then we took a long walk around the neighborhood. Word to the wise, if you are at all in a rush, do not take dogs on a new path during a walk. It took us an hour and 15 minutes to go 3.5 miles and we were moving at a snail’s pace due to the dogs constantly stopping and sniffing.

Some walking.

Lots of sniffing. 

And breaks. 

My mom and I went to get a massage and then headed to Chinese food for lunch at Mandrette, a great dive Chinese restaurant on Beverly Blvd. and Orlando in West Hollywood. We got more food than we could possibly eat (veggie mu shu, lemon chicken, fried rice, and shu mai).

Then off to nails. I got Essie Bobbing for Baubles (dark blue even though it looks black here).

This photo looks like I only have 4 fingers, whoops!

And then home where I had my final birthday cupcake for dinner…. YUM I am going to miss these.

And the best part of the day? Getting these delivered from Q. Bentley acted as the protector of the flowers. So cute. 

I had such a great day, thanks everyone for all of the birthday wishes!

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Filed under Me, Pets, Q

Halloween Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Top 4 Reasons Why I Love Halloween:

1. Dogs in costumes.

2. Guilt free unlimited candy consumption.

3. It’s my birthday. As a kid this was awesome since trick or treating at the neighbors’ houses resulted in extra treats for the birthday girl. Now, it is an excellent excuse to have a Halloween party.

4. My mom makes me a dessert of my choosing for the big day. This year, I opted for coconut cupcakes (my absolute favorite kind).

My mom makes the BEST cupcakes I’ve ever had. They are fluffy, moist, flavorful and perfectly frosted and covered in sprinkles. This recipe has been one we go back to often since it has never done us wrong. One word of caution with this one: don’t be afraid of the massive quantity of butter used… just close your eyes and pretend it’s healthy.

This year, we decided to make our cupcakes a little Halloweeny by adding some fun sprinkles on top. I got a big case of Halloween sprinkles from Target and went to town. It gave them a fun little touch and ensured that no cupcake looked the same.

Last Halloween thought of the day – in New York, how do kids trick or treat? Apartment door to apartment door? Do they go out to the suburbs? In LA, I used to do a quick trick or treat around my small neighborhood early and then my parents would drive me to Hancock Park to meet up with my friends and do a full 2-hour door-to-door trick or treat marathon.

Halloween Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Makes 18 to 20 large cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
  • Cream Cheese Icing (directions below)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minues. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. FIll each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with remaining coconut and sprinkles.

Cream Cheese Icing

For 18 to 20 large cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook 

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Filed under Baking, Cupcakes, Recipe

Halloween Prep

Costume…check

Decorations…check

Homemade Halloween/Birthday Cupcakes…check

Recipe for these bad boys coming tomorrow!

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Filed under Entertaining, Photography

A Hair Change

I am an extremely loyal person (very good news for Q). I go to the same restaurants, the same gym, the same nail salon for 15 years, and the same hair dresser for 10. I think this goes hand in hand with the fact that I  like having a routine. I just like the same things all the time, change scares me. Yesterday, while in New York, I had the opportunity to get highlights from one of the BEST colorists in NY (Rita Hazan), so how could I say no? I didn’t…but I sat with white knuckles and a pale face for 90 minutes while highlights were applied over the highlights I already had. I had a semi-freak out inside since this was a new person in a new place touching my hair and I was nervous…

yup, two blow dryers at once, nervous face.

My hair was in foils, rinsed out, blown out and… GORGEOUS beyond. I couldn’t believe how great it turned out, blonder highlights in all the right places. I sent photos to my friends and my mom for secondary approval and got answers like “WOW, this is great!” and “Is this the new Koko? I LOVE it.”

The new color!

So my trying new things and new places experiment was worth all of the white knuckles and anxiety. Although scary, occasionally trying something new really pays off!

And yes, I couldn’t stop taking pictures because I liked it so much. The highlights are subtle, yet are perfect for my coloring and face shape. And I don’t plan on washing out this blow out for at least 4 days (dry shampoo to the rescue!).

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Filed under Beauty